Survival of the Sun Bears

When an orphaned sun bear cub is rescued from illegal captivity she must learn how to survive in the wild before she can finally be set free. Filmed on the island of Borneo, in a rainforest older than the Amazon, this short documentary follows the journey of a rescued sun bear named Natalie. Conservation is brought to life as we experience Natalie making history when she steps into the wild as the first sun bear to be released by the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
This film leads us to realize that just as we need the rainforests, these rainforests need sun bears; so what threatens sun bears also threatens us. As we examine our own life choices in regard to consumerism and career paths, we discover we all have a role to play in reducing these threats and keeping sun bears alive, wild and free.

  • Jocelyn Stokes
  • Nuvista Media
  • Aaron Sandhu
  • Jocelyn Stokes
  • Wong Siew Te
    Key Cast
  • Gabriella Fredriksson
    Key Cast
  • Cynthia Ong
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Conservation, Wildlife, Natural History
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 4, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
    New York City
    United States
    October 24, 2019
    Official selection
  • Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 24, 2020
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Jocelyn Stokes

Formally trained in wildlife science and photojournalism, Jocelyn Stokes has dedicated her storytelling craft to the production of films that promote our global stewardship of the natural world. Her films share the comprehensive realties of wildlife conservation with a focus on the hopeful and visionary efforts of those leading the most sustainable models of conservation today.
As a filmmaker Stokes has contributed to National Geographic, the BBC,, The United States Embassy of Malaysia, Health in Harmony, Raleigh International, Bear Trust International, Sabah Wildlife Department, Future Alam Borneo and Borneo Futures.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Sun bears will likely not survive without the world’s attention, thus the first step of conserving these elusive jungle bears is to share their plight with a global audience. The depth of character that I found in each individual sun bear is what ultimately inspired me to direct this film, convey this critical message, and move others to fall in love with these bears as I have. I spent a year dodging King cobras and orangutans on my daily trek to film Bornean sun bears in the oldest rainforests on Earth. The resulting documentary, Survival of the Sun Bears, became my first major milestone in the documentary and natural history filmmaking experience. Sharing the plight of this endangered species with an audience that is most likely unaware of its existence fulfills my highest priority in purposeful storytelling.